reminds me alot of Lyon and tis my theory that they done and copied it. godammit. dont remember loads of nightlife but its there if you look hard enough. have colleague who work there so we visit from time to time. gypsy type bars are open late - check table cloths and stuff - bit french really. food is ok. get some gullash in yer. people are really nice. am told by Dutch colleagues they are a bit miserable and dont want things to improve too mcuh so they like things the way they are even if that means 'broken' or 'unhappy' etc.
its cheap i think. money is screwed up with ten million forints to the pounds (factually its : 1 Hungarian forint = 0.005651 U.S. dollars as of today 19.10.07)
the spa houses are worth a look, historic buildings, old subway the same age as the original London one - was a copy of it I hear and the trains seem about 100 yeras old and may in fact be 100 years old.
the driving is bloody mental and roads will be often blocked at rush hour. expect to curse.
have a good time.
Some sage advice. Only problem is that Gulash is the national dish of Hungary, and is served in tourist restaurants in BUDAPEST (where I live). Forint (HUF) is the currency of Hungary. Lei is the currency of Romania, and not too long ago they knocked off 4 zeros from the currency (used to cost over one million for a tank of petrol).
BUCHAREST, being the capital of Romania (not Hungary) is a fúcking ugly city with only a very small part of the pre-Caucescu/Communist beauty left.
Nightlife in the city can be amazing, and the locals are very friendly, if sadly allergic to deoderant and soap (bit like the French then). The city has hundreds of decent bars, clubs and restaurants to choose from: after being a regular visitor there for the last 6 years (about 8 times a year) I am still finding new places. The girls are friendly, but if you cannot pull then the hookers are cheap and plentiful.
Bucharest (and most of Romania) is experiencing an economic boom at the moment, so the city is a building site. Get used to long waits in traffic. Alternatively use the local underground. While it is extremely cheap, clean and efficient you will be plagued by gypsy beggars. Be aware that most gypsy beggars are probably making more money than a Lt Col in the AAC with maximum flying pay allowance.
Top tips: only use reputable taxi companies. These can be spotted by being fully "badged up". The official taxi company at the airport is good as well: avoid those people pestering you for a taxi: they will take you to their private car (so you have no insurance) and rip you off. Before getting into any taxi ask how much the fair will be. It can be useful to have the address written down (including the post code and district) so they cannot take you to a street with the same name but in a different district!
Where to stay: I always stay at the JW Marriott. Other good hotels are the InterConti, K&K, Ramada, etc . If price is an issue then the Ibis hotels are clean and secure, though in crappy areas. Have a look at expedia.co.uk for details. You should be able to get a good hotel room for about 100 quid a night, or a clean and safe room from about 45.
Dogs: there is still a problem with packs of feral dogs at night. These will attack you. Travel everywhere by taxi and only walk in nice districts. This is not a joke!
Pickpockets: they are clustered around the tourist areas. Use usual precautions and you will be ok.
Titty bars: avoid until you have met an expat or local who knows some "safe" joints. Do not ask a taxi driver to take you to one that he knows as he will take you to a place where he gets the biggest kick-back from the bar. Be cautious or you will find your credit cards being emptied while the bouncers break a leg or two (300 USD a beer is not unheard of for muppets who fall into the trap). Always ask for the drinks menu and if you want to buy a wench a bottle of 'champagne', find out how much it is beforehand (normally about 30-50 euros for a small bottle of Asti!). Top tip: pay for your drinks as you get them, thus there will be no surprises.
Hookers: plentiful. To be found in certain districts and near all good hotels . Word of caution: if you are walking down the street and 2 ladies of the night approach you, fúck them off at the high port: they will try and take you to a rip-off bar as mentioned above.
Food: avoid eating street food and at train stations. I have never had problems in any restaurant I have been to (with the food). Be aware that cloning of credit cards is extremely common. Cashpoints are almost everywhere (they are all reputable). Pay by cash in clubs and restuarants. Often a restaurant will claim your card doesn't work because they want you to pay cash (thus they can avoid tax and steal some from their boss). Tip about 10% if service is polite and happy, 15% if excellent. Be prepared for rudeness and slow service in some places (worth putting up with if the food is cheap and excellent).
Casinos: there are some great casinos in the city. Ask your hotel for advice. You will be able to tell the quality at the entrance (luxurious carpets, nice building, polite and cute girls as opposed to banks of machines in a tatty building with pish stained carpets. 99% of real casinos are straight (avoid the rooms full of automated machines).
Have a fun time.